CENTRAL ISLIP, NY (The New York Daily News) – Two Long Island teens, inseparable in life, walked together into a deadly September attack by four homicidal gangbangers swinging baseball bats and a machete.
The quartet of killers, along with their two leaders in the brutal MS-13 street gang, were charged Thursday in the revenge killings of Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, federal authorities said.
The horrific Sept. 13 slaughter of the unarmed girls was a homicidal overreaction to a Brentwood High School dispute just one week earlier, a 34-page federal indictment charged.
“While violence and brutality are trademarks of the MS-13 gang, the murders of these … teens are particularly disturbing,” U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said at a Long Island news conference.
“Mickens was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, hanging out with her childhood friend.”
Accused in the double murder were Alexi (Big Homie) Saenz, 22, and his brother Jairo (Funny) Saenz, 19, along with Selvin (Flash) Chavez, 19, and Enrique (Turkey) Portillo, 19.
The 41-count indictment charged 13 MS-13 members with racketeering, murder, attempted murder, assault, obstruction of justice, arson and other charges.
Authorities said 10 of those charged were in the U.S. illegally, coming from either El Salvador or Honduras. President Trump made mention of the Brentwood killings a month after his November victory.
A warrant executed at the Central Islip home of the Saenz brothers recovered an arsenal of guns, knives, machetes, ammunition — and a sword, authorities said.
A pair of fugitive gang-bangers, Elmer Alexander (Smiley) Lopez, 19, and German (Bad Boy) Cruz, 18, were accused in the June 3, 2016, murder of fellow MS-13 member Jose Pena-Hernandez, 18 — who violated gang protocol.
The skeletal remains of Pena-Hernandez were discovered in a wooded area near the abandoned Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood in October.
According to prosecutors, the two teenage girls were targeted after Cuevas and some friends had a beef with the Sailors Loco Salvatruchas Westside branch of MS-13.
The vengeful suspects were driving through Brentwood looking for rivals to kill when they spotted the two teenage girls walking along the street.
The Saenz brothers authorized the hit, with Chavez, Portillo and two juveniles linked to MS-13 grabbing bats and a machete to savagely batter the girls.
“I’ve got some type of closure, even though my daughter is not back,” said Robert Mickens, Nisa’s father. “It’s closure to my family.”